, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 641-647
Date: 17 Jun 2009

Measuring the crystallinity index of cellulose by solid state 13C nuclear magnetic resonance

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Abstract

The crystallinity index of cellulose is an important parameter to establish because of the effect this property has on the utilization of cellulose as a material and as a feedstock for biofuels production. However, it has been found that the crystallinity index varies significantly depending on the choice of instrument and data analysis technique applied to the measurement. We introduce in this study a simple and straightforward method to evaluate the crystallinity index of cellulose. This novel method was developed using solid state 13C NMR and subtraction of the spectrum of a standard amorphous cellulose. The crystallinity indexes of twelve different celluloses were measured and the values from this method were compared with the values obtained by other existing methods, including methods based on X-ray diffraction. An interesting observation was that the hydration of the celluloses increased their crystallinity indexes by about 5%, suggesting that addition of water increased cellulose order for all the cellulose samples studied.